The 7th sphere and path on the Tree of Life is called Netzach, נצח, ntzch, Victory. The Dictionary of Targumin, Talmud and Midrashic Literature defines Netzach as ‘to be bright, pure, to be victorious’; with different vowel points, ‘to make illustrious, to glorify’. Netzach is rooted from the noun נץ, netz, meaning ‘blossom, flower’, and curiously, ‘falcon’. In the 32 Paths of Wisdom Netzach, Victory, is named שכל נסתר, Sakel Nesether, the ‘Occult’ or ‘Hidden Intelligence’. Nesether is rooted from a verb סתר, sawthar, ‘to hide, veil, cover, conceal’. Waite’s commentary on the path: “The seventh path is called the Hidden Intelligence, because it pours out a brilliant splendor on all intellectual virtues which are beheld with the eyes of the spirit and by the ecstasy of faith.” This comment from Waite is challenging to explain without some foundation. When he states: “...beheld with the eyes of spirit and by the ecstasy of faith,” the intimation has to do with the control and direction of the reproductive force. Notice that one of the root meanings behind Netzach is ‘falcon or hawk’. The path descending from Tiphareth into Netzach is the path of Death and Scorpio. Three symbols lay behind the astrological sign Scorpio: the scorpion (its primitive expression of the reproductive force), the snake (the turning of the reproductive force) and the eagle (the exaltation or overcoming the reproductive force). That ‘hidden’ reproductive force is overcome by the practice of meditation, the 28th Path. When correctly practiced over a period the reproductive force is turned or re-channeled, resulting in higher vision, insight, “beheld with the eyes of spirit.”
The seventh sphere on the Tree is deeper within (or higher) than the eighth sphere, Hod. With “the eyes of spirit,” and “the ecstasy of faith” that accompanies the re-channeled reproductive force, truly is ‘a brilliant splendor’ (clarity of speech and reason) poured upon our ‘intellectual virtues’ by keen insight, attention and focused reasoning. All that is due to the ‘occult’ or ‘hidden’ virtues behind sexual continence. Why? Because sexual continence conserves energy. What is implicated when the ‘eagle’ symbol is used by occultists to represent Scorpio, and ’falcon’ mentioned as one definition behind the noun נץ, netz, is the successful re-channeling of the reproductive force. The energy so re-channeled actually enhances insight and eventually exterior vision as well. One actually beholds “with the eyes of the spirit.” Qabalists teach that to master the currents of higher energies we must first learn to control our desires. The Victory suggested by the name Netzach is the overcoming and control of our emotions. Emotions can overpower Intellect. This was suggested in the piece about Sphere Hod where populations may be swayed by imagery and emotionally packed rhetoric over reason. This has happened, is happening now, and will happen again when descendants of Cain, devoid conscience and spirit, rise to temporal personal power and influence.
However, the 7th sphere lies beneath the 4th sphere, Chesed, Mercy. With Chesed’s position on the Pillar of Mercy, above Netzach, Qabalists remind us that basically all our ‘true’ desires are fundamentally beneficent. The descendants of Cain half within each of us misunderstand and therefore misinterpret and misuse our imaginative faculties. We desire things to have. But since the false desire ‘to have’ is not within us to produce, we must rely on forces outside us and that means ‘other’ sources that must be overcome somehow. We must lie, manipulate, control or even force all those people or conditions outside us to conform one way or another to our selfish demands to appease selfish desires. Conscience be damned. The ends justify the means.
All that must be taken under control and changed. The descendants of Seth half within Rebis is the only course. And that means we must desire to do so as ardently as we have desired not to do so heretofore. This is the Path of Return. Our ‘true’ desires are what the Creator wants us to be and to perform. Each of us, from wherever we came and wherever we are now, holds that ‘true’ desire within us. It is up to each of us to bring that desire out and to do it. This is why all accomplished teachers of meditation tell us to meditate upon what we truly want ‘to be’ over things to have. Beware teachers demonstrating how to embellish the false, separative, little self with more things to have. They only want your money.
Success in meditation actualizes our true nature to be. But since it is not actually ‘we’ who meditate, we must work for the inner inclination that prepares us to receive that call. And that is outlined for us on the Tree of Life map via the Middle Pillar. We cannot meditate on anything that we do not 'truly' desire because we are not emotionally committed. And since so many of us do not know what we truly desire for ourselves we are at a loss from the starting gate. What we commonly desire is a personal, and all to often misunderstood, interpretation of a feeling sourced from deeper within. Our desires become distorted due mostly to false egotistical motives. This is especially true for those of us who harbor an undefined spiritual need for freedom and meaning to life, yet are surrounded only by the crass illusions this world seems to offer - the pursuit of happiness. Those of us yet lost to our true purpose are forced to work at meaningless jobs, or take up studying some curriculum at an educational institution designed with programs to keep the crass illusions alive and well.
One primary purpose of meditation is to provide a suitable environment, healthy minds and bodies, for more perfect desires. When successful meditation reveals the true purpose for each of us the ‘crass illusion’ now becomes the Way of Return. There is an aphorism from the East which says: “Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water, after enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.” We now see and understand the necessity for the Grand Illusion and our position within it. The illusion becomes Paradise in that we see a portion of the Grand Picture. We see ourselves and the whole world as an unfinished process in the making. We then take up our path with joy in the knowing. The activity we find for ourselves is no longer a drab meaningless burden, but a joyful and creative opportunity. Our petty, selfish desires that have kept us previously on the hamster wheel now fall away.
Meditation effects physiological and chemical transformations in our blood. This effects all the organs and glands in the body. It might also be added that meditation effects transformations psychologically. We settle down, become more calm. Our minds and emotions loosen their dictations that motivate intemperate actions, and fall into their rightful place as tools of support. We become more as our desires follow the higher lead.